Translation: Dope Fiend
Max Lindberg - Bass
Andreas Blomqvist - Guitars
Magnus Persson - Vocals
We are pleased, today, to have Hyperborean with us; it took some time to the Swedish band to find the right tunes, but finally they present to us their debut album, "The Spirit Of Warfare", that has been already reviewed on Aristocrazia Webzine.
Welcome on Aristocrazia Webzine! After a decade of hard work, you can finally hold in your hands your debut album. How does that make you feel?
Magnus: Well I'll give you an honest answer, I haven't held the album yet as it hasent arrived to us from the label yet. But it will feel good to have it, sort of a confirmation that the hard work we'we put into the band has paid off.
How did your project start? Who are the Hyperborean?
The band started eleven years ago and it has gone through different stages throughout the years. Today the main core of Hyperborean is made up off myself Magnus, the vocalist, and Andreas, the guitarist, through the last few years we have driven this band and our determination to make something off it is the reason it still exists.
Before this album, you produced three demos: "Of Malice", "Thorns Scar Her Soul" and "Prey"; what kind of reaction did they meet when you released them? I noticed that, differently from many other bands similar to you, you decided not to include any of the previous songs in your debut album; is there a particular reason behind this choice?
Well we can split those two demos into two categories, the first two demos were recorded with an interley different line-up off wich I am the only member that remains to this day. The first two demos were really well recieved and we were offered some good record deals after the second demo, but instability in the line-up prevented us from pursuiting them. The third demo wasnt really that good and we arent that happy with it. The reason none of the songs made it to the album is basically this. The first two demos had an interley diffeent sound to them so those songs wouldnt fit and the third demo just wasnt good enough for us. And we had enough material for an album without them anyways, most of the songs on "The Spirit Of Warfare" were writen five or six years ago.
The taste of your album strongly recalls the '90s; the swedish sound of Dissection meets here the norwegian, viking style of Borknagar, while the extreme coldness of Immortal (emerging especially in the striking thrash sections) mixes with elegant keyboards parts that seems to be inspired to the first Dimmu Borgir and Emperor. I also found that some of your influences could not be black metal at all: for instance, the opening track "Channeling The Spirit Of Warfare" contains a riffing section that reminds me of some creations of Schuldiner, with Death. How did you give birth to this album? Did you follow a particular method when you composed the songs?
There wasent really a plan to them, we just wrote what we felt like writing, we didnt reallt try to model ourselves after any particular band, just make the song we wanted to make. But you mention Dissection and I certainly have nothing against being compared to them as they were pretty awesome.
I have to say that "The Spirit Of Warfare" is really a great platter; I think that, with a little more personality, this album could have been considered a real masterpiece, for the quality of his tracklist is truly amazing. Do you feel completely satisfied of your creation? Are there any bands that you have been listening in a compulsive way while you composed the album, just like they were some sort of spiritual guidance?
No we havent listened to any band to try to emulate them, we want to make our own music and create our own sound. In regards to the recording, there are always things you can do differently and there are a couple of things I wish we had done in another way, but I see no point in dwelling on them now, what is done is done, we will learn from it and do even better on our next album (which is coming along niceley).
Unfortunately, I couldn't go deeply into the lyrics of your album. What kind of themes inspire you when you write them? Judging by the titles and helped by the few words of english that I know, it seems to me that among the lyrics of "The Spirit Of Warfare" you often refer to historical facts, like in "The Last Stand Of Leonidas And The Battle Of Thermopylae"; am I right?
Warfare in its different forms was the main theme, you are deffintley right in that historical battles and facts lie as an inspiration to the lyrics. Every song and evert lyric is based on one or more historical events. History is something that interest me and inspires me to write as a lyricist.
What do you think of today's black metal scene? Do you think its atmosphere has changed from the 90s? Is there a circle of bands that collaborates and supports each other, or is it composed of many separate, single projects?
I cannot really answer this as I do not know, we are not appart of any circle of bands, we do what we want and we write the music and lyrics that we want and we do no care what other bands do. We have our vision and that is good enough for us, we dont need to be involved in any movement.
The black metal scene has always been divided in two branches; the first, that I'd define orthodox, is carachterized by a low-fi, rotten sound; the other has tried, during the years, to break the limits of the genre, trying to focus on its avanguardistic side. What's your opinion on the latest tendencies inside the scene, like trying to integrate post-rock features in its sound, or considering "shoegaze" the soft sound of bands like Alcest or Lifelover?
I will answer this from my personal perspective, I like the works of bands like Burzum, old Satyricon, Taake, Dissection and Emeperor. I like black metal, but I wouldnt call our music pure black metal as we do infuse some influences from other genres such as death and thrash metal.
After the release of the album, what kind of feedback did you find in the reviews or from those who follow you?
So far it seems to be really good, people seem to like what we are doing and the reviews have mainly been very positive.
Are you playing live already or planning to? If yes, are there any already confirmed shows?
No we dont have a full line-up for live shows at the moment. But we might try to get a full line-up for gigs in the future.
During your decade of activity, has there been any anectode, on stage, that you remember particularly striking, positively or else?
Haha yeah, but too many to mention my friend.
List five good reasons to listen "The Spirit Of Warfare".
Five reasons huh? Its Agressive, ferocious, melodic, hateful and atmospheric, how about that?
Who are the guys behind the project Hyperborean? What does they do in their lives, apart from their musical activity?
I play some sports, try to keep myself in decent shape, I play some online poker, I always like a good book or movie.
The interview has come to an end; hoping to see you soon on stage here in Italy, I would like to thank you and I leave to you the opportunity to give us any last words that you see fit to conclude our little chat.
I hope we will be on a stage in Italy in the future, I think it would be awesome to play for the Roman legions! By the way, we have written some songs about ancient Greece on this album, we will defintly write some songs about ancient Rome in the future, maybe something about the Punic wars. Thank you for this interview and keep suporting Hyperborean!